I Have Failed!

I Have Failed!

I think this message is one of the most important messages for us to understand as believers in Christ. As I read, and reread what I have written I get so excited within my soul that I can hardly wait to enter the day ahead of me.

This devotional isn’t some plastic, great idea, that I hope will encourage you. I wrote this about a year ago and I am as excited today as I was when I wrote it.  I hope you will be too.

lonely man reading

Sitting with several other men at my weekly men’s bible study God brought an answer to a week of turmoil that had me in a very discouraging place. I was struggling with a sense of failure, hungry for something from the Lord that would help. Suddenly during our discussion on the Holy Spirit, God showed up! He brought the answer from a very different place than I had anticipated. From within my relationship with God He showed me an aspect of Himself that I had never seen before.

For more than a year, I had been relishing in a new found understanding of the unconditional love of Jesus. I have begun to grasp the greatness of His freedom from the “laws of sin and death” in a very personal way. I have found that there is nothing I can do that will cause Jesus to love me any more or any less than He does. This has been wonderful and transforming for me but this week something new hit me.

God is three in one, the great mystery of the trinity. I am learning about Jesus more but now, something new rose up about another facet of the Godhead! The Holy Spirit. Through the study of His word, we read through many passages that spoke of the Holy Spirit and my heart began to listen to a very personal message from Him.

holy-spirit-fireI love you, I am your greatest encourager. I believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. I pray for you perfectly when you haven’t a clue how to pray. I not only believe in you, I have a  plan for you that you will discover over time that will amaze you! When you think you have failed, I have already begun to turn your seeming failure into something good and in time you will be thankful even for the greatest mistakes you have made.

I will empower you into growth and maturity that you cannot even imagine today. I will keep you from harm, I will order your steps, I will give courage to face things you would naturally run from. I will speak for you, in you, with you, and through you with words you didn’t even know you had. I am your most passionate “cheerleader” and your best coach. With Me beside you, you cannot fail.

Oh, man! That was amazing to me. I can’t fail? But I have felt such failure in my life. The consequences to my decisions have been great. But He reminded me that in all of my mistakes and seemingly failed decisions, He, the Holy Spirit, has brought them all around for growth, blessing, and made good come out of them that I wound have never imagined!

I made the decision that this week I am going to spend a significant amount of energy pondering the amazing, God ordained, powerful impact that the Holy Spirit has on me each and every day in walking beside me, in me, and through me. I am going to focus on remembering that I have the universe’s most energetic cheerleader supporting me. I also have the world’s greatest coach leading, mentoring, and teaching me how to live each day. But not only is He the best cheerleader and coach, He is also the one and only transformer of my heart.

The Holy Spirit, the Comforter of my soul, the Mighty Counselor, the Omnipotent God! If He is for me, who can be against me? He is not the accuser, Satan is. He is not the one who holds it against me, condemns me, or beats me on the head! That is the enemy of my soul!

The Holy Spirit is not a wind, not a “power” He is my personal trainer that always believes in me. I will not fail because of Him. God brought me an incredible answer to the cry of my heart. I can only thank Him even more for the freedom He is bringing me from condemnation and shame of this world and into His marvelous light!

I have given just a few scripture references that bring this to light. I recommend looking into others that describe the Holy Spirit’s love for us and His role in our lives to do the good work of God in us. There are hundreds! He really wants us to know how much He believes in us and will not let us fail.

Ps. 42:5

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Ps. 56:9

Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help.

By this I will know that God is for me.

John 14:16,26 (NIV)

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Romans 8:1,26HandsSpirit_000004185339Small

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Ephesians 2:4-7

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Rev. 12:10

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

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12 Responses to “I Have Failed!”

  1. John Smid says:

    This is very encouraging and for myself, I can relate. You know that I find failure in myself so often. Well even if I truly did fail, I know that the Holy Spirit will lead me on into victory. Thank you for the message.
    Your loving wife,

  2. Paul Swanson says:

    Wow John… this is really relevant to my life right now. I’m going thru a season of failure. Seems that God has gifted me with certain abilities and I’ve desired all my life to use these for His good… But now mater what I do, it all seems to end up in flames! I think really I just want God to bless my efforts to manipulating others thru works to give me accolades.

    So at my core, I’m still selfish and my entire being cries out for approval. I’m soo tired of this fruitless venture…

  3. John Smid says:

    Paul, I am finding there is so much freedom in Christ that I never knew was available before. I remember a scripture that clearly says, cease striving and know that I am God. But the application of that is very hard because most of us are “doers” and we strive for the approval of man. In doing so we get on the treadmill of perfection or our meager attempts to do it ourselves. Rather, I believe God is calling us to strive after one thing – to abide in Him. If we abide in Him, we then live in faith.

    The message of freedom and that we cannot fail is not a permissive, do whatever you want kind of message. Rather when I find true freedom from the “behind the shed whippings of God” mentality, I want more than ever to seek Him for what is right for me because when I mess up, (fail) I don’t fear His retribution and in the end, I follow His words, His desires, and succeed in Him all the more. His transformation occurs in the deeper places of my heart so that my outer life changes as a result of His love for me, not of my own works.

  4. Tim Raper says:

    The Holy Spirit! WOW! What an actually God sent…I received this on a day that I had such great anxiety in my soul, an uneasiness that I could not put my finger on or think of a cause of. Was it; past failures, a marriage gone bad, giving the separation from the ones I love the most. I had such a feeling of being alone in a great big world, that I could not find a place to fit into.

    After reading this message, I was quickly encouraged by John words, written under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I was able to allow the Holy Spirit to replace my fear and anxiety, with an assurance that my future is in the hands of the one that promised to never leave me alone. The Comforter replaces my fear and anxiety with sweet peace and unconditional love. Thanks John for the message.
    Your friend,

  5. Scotty B says:

    Thanks for sharing this John; I really needed to hear it as I am facing a similar struggle.

  6. John Smid says:

    A good friend send me this comment anonymously:

    Very good article. One of the phrases that I like to “meditate” on as I read and think and process is: The Love the Father revealed in the grace of the Son given in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

    I also love to think about Christ “keeping company” with us through the work of the Spirit.

    I love the fact that you present the Spirit in very personal terms. I grew up hearing about the Holy Ghost which is just awful. There is a reason why the word Jesus picked for the Holy Spirit has a multitude of meanings: comforter, helper, advocate – He is all of these things.

  7. Yolanda Stith says:

    Thank you, John, for sharing your heart and vulerability. As a failure, in my attempt to live life on my own, through my own resources, rather than from Christ, I join you and consider myself in good company. I thank God that He delights in failures that He might be our Savior! Thank you for reminding me that I God’s Spirit is always leading me onward and upward.

  8. Wilson says:

    John, is speakable what He did on that cross. It was a way to show that nothing can take us apart. A eternal, unconditional love. It took so many years to understand a little bit of the meaning of that love. Through Him and For Him.

  9. Jeremy Marks says:

    Thank you John for sharing your heart – this is very encouraging and a message to re-visit often, to make sure we don’t forget it.

    It reminds me of something a friend shared with me many years ago. He was reading Psalm 23 in his early morning devotions, and came to verse 6, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life . . .” (NIV) As he meditated on these words, the thought crossed his mind, “Why does God say that goodness and mercy will FOLLOW me? Surely it would be better if goodness and love paved the way ahead?” He felt the Lord reply, “Son, if you remember the mistakes you make and the sins you commit, you surely will be glad that goodness and mercy follows you.”

    Later that day, whilst at work, he discovered that he had made a terrible mistake that was going to cost the company he worked for a lot of money, and he felt dreadfully embarrassed by his error. His heart sank as he could not do anything other than to face his boss admitting his mistakes and the costly consequences. He prayed in anguish, and then remembered the Lord’s words that morning – “surely goodness and love will follow me . . .” Then he sensed the Lord add, “Just leave this to me.”

    A week later, a train of events following this time turned the whole situation around to such a great advantage that it could almost be said that God meant him to make that mistake. The situation was transformed, and my friend was thrilled to be able to witness to the fact that “goodness and mercy shall follow me . . .”

    I’ve never forgotten that story.

    Jeremy Marks

  10. John Albert Thomas says:

    I, too, grew up afraid of the Holy Spirit. His main role was the conviction of sin, and I always felt guilty. I now know that it was not the Holy Spirit, but rather the Accuser.

    I am learning to live in the freedom of the “Law of Love” that Christ brought, a new covenant in a new wineskin. Living simply with the question, “Am I loving God and man?” So much easier to answer than a list of do’s and don’ts, especially when the Holy Spirit is in my heart teaching me what love is and isn’t.

    I am learning to live in the kingdom not of this world. Speaking less, loving more. And when I do speak, trusting that the Holy Spirit will give me words to speak just as Christ promised He would. When it comes to living, trusting Him to provide all of our needs at the proper time. Holding life and others with an open hand so that God can work as He wills, not as I will.

    It’s just a whole lot easier to obey the Law of Love when we let God do the work of judgment. As Jesus did not come into the world to judge the world but to save it, so too our role is not that of judge, but of priest.

  11. Dan Hoeksema says:

    John, I am so glad that you wrote what you did about the Holy Spirit! He truly has been a comforter, encourager, helper,confidant, and constant companion to me, and surely, goodness and mercy have been following me!!

    My faith in God and knowing that the Holy Spirit is my Friend, and always has my best interest in mind has been the source of great power and grace in my life!! He will never leave me, nor forsake me, and my considerable mistakes and sins in life have only been met with His Grace, and Forgiveness!!

    Thank you John for your openness and candor!! God bless you and Vileen!! Keep on writing; you are reaching people!!

  12. Paul Berkus says:

    The timing of this word was perfect. God knows my heart. I don’t want to hurt people, but when I do, I am learning not to quit. I can be confident that the accuser is hurled down forever, and the Holy Spirit is with me forever working things out for His good…Glory to God!

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